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Grothe sparks South Florida to win over Pittsburgh

Nov 4, 2006 - 10:23 PM TAMPA, Florida (Ticker) -- Matt Grothe got South Florida back on track after a disappointing effort.

Grothe threw for a touchdown and ran for another score as the Bulls captured a 22-12 Big East Conference victory over Pittsburgh.

Plagued by a poor offensive effort in a 23-6 loss at Cincinnati two weeks ago, South Florida (6-3, 2-2 Big East) compiled 377 total yards in winning its second straight league home game.

Improving to 6-5 all-time in the Big East, the Bulls became bowl eligible one year after they attended their first at the Meineke Car Care Bowl.

A freshman, Grothe went in from a yard out midway through the second quarter to put South Florida ahead, 14-3, and found Amarri Jackson for a 43-yard scoring play with 3:58 left in the third, extending the lead to 20-6.

Overall, Grothe completed 19-of-25 passes for 180 yards and two interceptions.

Entering the game without an interception in his previous 108 attempts, the Panthers' Tyler Palko committed three in 23 attempts, completing only 11 passes. He also was penalized for intentionally grounding the ball with a throw out of the end zone, giving the Bulls a safety and a 22-6 lead four minutes into the fourth quarter.

The senior did try to rally Pittsburgh late, finding Darrell Strong for a 19-yard TD with 6:22 remaining, but he tossed his final interception near midfield with 46 seconds left.

The Panthers (6-3, 2-2) absorbed their second straight loss.

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